Best Order to Record Original Music?

Area to discuss using your PC or 4-track for recording

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ramsale
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Best Order to Record Original Music?

Post by ramsale » Sun Sep 15, 2002 9:40 pm

I am playing around in spare bedroom with digital recording toys, and was wondering what seems to work best for multi-track music. I usually lay down drums and bass first, then add synth-guitar-vocals over top. Maybe there is a better way? I feel like I need the drum beats to keep time with all the rest, but don't mess with the MIDI much when actually doing my own stuff... Any ideas? (I'm not afraid to sample cool sound bits, either, if they can be used in a non-infringing way...)

Skybone
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Post by Skybone » Mon Sep 16, 2002 1:28 pm

Personally, I follow a similar route, but thankfully having a 4 I/O soundcard helps!

Drums and Main Rythym Guitar track first.
Second Rythym Guitar track.
Bass Guitar track.
Overdubs if necessary.
Flouncy Guitar bits.
Loads of Overdubs as I'm crap at the flouncy bits.
Vocals if there's no one around, and I feel courageous.
Adding bits if they're needed.
Fin.

I dont do synth/keyboards as I'm crap, no sorry, hopeless at that.

Best advice I'd say (having done it in a proper studio with a pro engineer) is carry on doing the rythym section first (Drums & Bass), then Vox/Guitar/Synth.

ramsale
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Post by ramsale » Mon Sep 16, 2002 9:22 pm

My percussion seems too "robotic", so I'm thinking about recording melody over minimal drum beats, and then adding more flavorful drums at the tail end of the track overdubs... Maybe it'll sound more human that way... I'll keep ya posted.

Skybone
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Post by Skybone » Tue Sep 17, 2002 3:26 pm

How do you mean "robotic"?

Is it the Drum patterns you are using seem too "perfect", or is it the drum pad sounds?

What tone generator are you using for your Drum patterns? I use an Alesis SR16, with patterns I programmed and then "tidied up" using the Step Mode.

What Software do you use, if it's a reasonable package, it will have a Compression Plug In (or a hardware platform will have an FX processor on-board). I use a 4:1 compression ratio, with a 10dB gain make up, reverb, and a touch of EQ (if needed) to make them sound less artificial. Generally it works, as some people have asked me who is playing the drums! :wink: Saying that, I've heard a few albums where the real drummer has been made to sound like a drum machine, which kind of defeats the object IMO!

I think its just a case of playing around with stuff until it sounds good. Good luck! (cue Mission Impossible theme).

ramsale
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Post by ramsale » Tue Sep 17, 2002 4:56 pm

I can step record on my Korg X2 Workstation, but it's very time intensive, and now I lean more towards software drum loops from a couple different companies. The sound is authentic enough, just my own lack of skill in setting up patterns and combinations that are believable as being done by a human. I don't want to have a "standard" rock or hip-hop beat when doing original compositions, and yet have to be down to earth enough to not sound too "new-age" or computerish... It's a fine line to walk, and I'm pretty critical of my own stuff...(I could spend DAYS on a single drum line when I'd rather be just playin' guitar...) Maybe I'm tripping on the drum tracks and need to focus more on melody and harmony and such...

Skybone
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Post by Skybone » Wed Sep 18, 2002 12:10 pm

I've been down that route too, but the loops available aren't anything special, or just not the kind of thing I'm after.

I tried a copy of "Acid Rock" purely for its copyright free loop CD rom. It was cheap and has a load of decent drum patterns. The dedicated copyright free sample CD's tend to be expensive.

I don't want "standard" rock or any other kind of beat, so when I have written something, I tend to have the rythm or drum pattern, and time changes, in my head. I sit down with the drum machine and guitar and basically mess about, playing with various ideas, trying to create a drum pattern that sounds passable and fits in with the riff/chord ideas I have in my head. I admit, its a time consuming ball-ache of a job, but if you end up with a "unique" drum pattern for your song, then it's time well spent.

I have spent days on one drum pattern before now, but sometimes when that happens, you are better off walking away from it and having a think (often best with guitar in hands! :wink: ) about the song as a whole and what you are aiming to acheive. Also play about with the BPM count, it doesn't always have to be 120BPM. I have some that are about 70BPM and a few in between, but they fit the idea and feel of the song.

Get a basic pattern you can work with down, play about with it / jam it around, and then get critical with it, pull it apart and reconstruct it and other patterns so that they fit. Re-focus on the "big picture" of your song, and above all, tell yourself that its going to be a cracking song when you've finished!

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Post by RavenMadd » Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:10 am

Drums are the foundation ......so build your song up from that
nada leads to nada

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Post by Loudmouse » Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:27 pm

RavenMadd wrote:Drums are the foundation ......so build your song up from that
I agree, drums make the song.

But I'm not a drummer so I use a basic click track or simple drum machine MIDI part to establish tempo and play the rhythm guitar song idea to it.

Once I have the guitar part where I want it, I'll try to fix up the drum part using a MIDI keyboard and a Yamaha DD55 to trigger sounds. But boy am I a terrible drummer!

I like to add the bass after the drum part is as good as I am able to get it. It's more like a bassist playing with a drummer that way.

Then I'll maybe double the guitar part or add effects whatever to "sweeten" it.

This gives me a pretty good basic rhythm section to mix and add lead guitar,vocals, keyboard, and other tracks to.

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Post by eddie h » Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:20 pm

If you can play drums (I can't) get a Yamaha DD55C. I got one for my birthday and it's very good. Fully programmable real sampled sounds midi out or use the h/phone socket with a split cable to get stereo output. I put a basic beat using metonome then (try) to flesh out after doing guitar parts. maybe I'll do a review at some point, not till after xmas though as I'm getting a Boss br600, going digital at long last!

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